It may come as a surprise to readers outside the UK that, as well as having a lax regulatory regime that allows financiers to make and keep large amounts of money while screwing up the economy for everyone else, this country also rewards them with public honours. Every year, a number of senior bankers and hedge fund bosses can expect CBEs and knighthoods, ostensibly for their contribution to the success of the economy.
Until now, that is. Not only has the Queen got the hump with the economists who failed to predict the financial crisis, it seems she is pissed off with the bankers too. She has booted them all off the honours list. There will be no gongs or knighthoods for the golden boys and girls of the financial world this year.
It is a sensible move. To have rewarded the people who most of us blame for the financial crisis would have been very unpopular and would have increased public cynicism about the awards system. But I wonder, too, whether this decision reflects some of Her Maj’s personal frustration. She is known to be furious about the financial crisis and voiced her concerns in her Christmas message. After all, when one has lost £25 million, one is entitled to feel a little cheesed orf.
According to the Daily Mail, the decision to remove them from this year’s honours list has “deepened the dismay” among the already demoralised City financiers. My heart bleeds!